Khaled Al Hashmi, ADNEC’s Chief Operating Officer
Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company (ADNEC) has announced it has joined the Abu Dhabi sustainability group. An agreement signed confirms ADNEC’s commitment to developing innovative solutions and initiatives to promote sustainability standards across the business.
Khaled Al Hashmi, ADNEC’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Joining the Abu Dhabi sustainability group will no doubt help ADNEC implement new sustainability guidelines. ADNEC will develop and launch internal initiatives which will increase awareness of the importance of sustainability.
“We are constantly seeking new systems and processes that allow us to reduce our environmental impact. Our use of innovative technology helps us make great strides each year and ADNEC today has become a case study of success in the UAE. Sustainability is an integrated part of what we do, not an afterthought. We encourage all organisations around the UAE to approach it in the same way.”
In 2012 and 2013, ADNEC will implement a number of sustainability initiatives. In 2011 the company has made great progress in translating its commitment to sustainability into measurable action at Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre, particularly in recycling. ADNEC saw a 124% year on year increase in the amount of waste recycled in 2011, totalling 282,094 kilograms, supporting its status as an environmental leader in the UAE.
The waste recycled in 2011 meant an equivalent saving around 4,200 trees, 93,670 gallons of oil, 986,000 kilowatts of energy, 1.73 million gallons of water and 739.5 cubic yards of landfill.
ADNEC achieved these results by promoting recycling throughout the venue and by extending the range of waste categories it is able to process. The company already recycled five different types of waste in 2010; cardboard, plastic cans and films, aluminium cans, paper and scrap metal. In 2011, ADNEC began offering glass, printer cartridge and battery recycling which greatly contributed to its achievement. Another huge contribution to the decrease in waste produced in 2011 was the recycling of gypsum board, which is widely used in exhibition stands and would otherwise be discarded post-show.
Mohammed Al Jowder, Member of the General Secretariat of the of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group, welcomed ADNEC to the group and said that they will work closely together to achieve the group’s goals in spreading awareness about sustainability in Abu Dhabi.
He said: “In order to become sustainable, organisations can adopt [sustainability management practice], an integrated and systematic management tool for economic, social and environmental performance. They can also enhance transparency by committing to publishing information about their operations and economic, social and environmental impact on their communities.”
Nabeen Al Yafaei, Director of Environment protection at ADNEC, said: “ADNEC has instigated an environmental task force with representatives from across the company meeting on a regular basis to discuss new ideas.
“A major contributor to our success is our internal culture. We make it high priority across the whole company, not just in one department. We encourage all our employees to think about sustainability in everything they do and, as a result, their enthusiasm is universal.”
ADNEC is currently trialling the use of biofuel converted from waste kitchen oil for cherry-pickers around the centre. It has also been trialling the use of solar panels on the roof of one of the car parks. The solar panels, which cover 1000 sqm on Car Park B, are used to power the elevators and the power generated can also be used to light three floors of the car park, with a total capacity of 111 kilowatts.
ADNEC has a holistic approach to sustainability, from the design of its buildings to its commitment to using fish sources that are not endangered; consequently hammour is off the menu within ADNEC. The company has been recognised regionally and internationally for its initiatives, in 2011 alone the company was chosen for the Middle East Event’s Award ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainability’ and was a finalist in the AEO Excellence Awards for ‘Sustainable Initiative of the Year’.
Future plans at the centre include acquiring a wood chipping machine as well as a food waste convertor. With many exhibitors using wood-based stands much material is then discarded post-conference, it would mean that this material can be shredded and used as an insulation material or for a whole host of other uses. Installing just one food waste machine would mean capacity to convert several tons of material a day, the resulting material can then be used around ADNEC or given to external companies.